Saturday, March 4, 2017

Simplifying your life

With tax day (Grrrrr!) just around the corner, I was reminded about stepping back from the minutiae of daily living to take a look at the big picture. Is this cruising gig really what I want to be doing? Is living in a tropical paradise the goal I have been aiming at? Have I simplified my life and gotten back to basics? Is there a better way? If you were to look at the KISS principle to extreme, you would have a simple farmer and his family growing food to eat with adequate shelter and no taxes. What is that you say? No taxes? Ha! There are only 2 certain things in life and one of them is to pay taxes. That is where we start down this road of complicating our lives.

My life now is certainly a lot simpler than it used to be. I don't pay any state tax and I don't have a daily commute. I don't have a basement full of stuff, I get no more than one piece of mail every week and don't get phone calls from telemarketers at dinner time. Despite this, it pays to be introspective to look for improvements and one of the most insidious complications in my life comes from the wonderful internet. I have unlimited text and data so I am always connected to the web and as a result I am constantly checking it. But I don't like what I have turned myself into. Rather than being connected all the time, I think in a perfect world, I would like to have a really fast connection just once a day. I don't like the way that technology has barged in on our everyday lives. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions that software programmers have made to interrupt our days by having our phones beep and chirp incessantly by default. We have become slaves to these electronic devices and most of us are addicted. Is this what I want with my life? For me the answer is no, so i could put my phone away every day and only use it a couple of times a week. The problem with that is what happens if I get lost and need Google maps? Or need to make a phone call, take a photo, etc? Instead, I have made a conscious decision to turn off all those notifications. I no longer get notified every time I purchase groceries. I no longer get interrupted when my cousin, twice removed has updated her profile on Facebook. Just small steps I know but I am not going to throw away my phone because it has so many good things that come with it but I do think that there are steps that everyone should take to mitigate the intrusion that these devices have caused. I wish IT professionals would make it easier to opt out of these constant updates because I think the vast majority of people do not want these reminders. 

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